SPECTRA features innovative & award-winning poets from across the country with Quad Cities-based poets & writers at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Avenue Rock Island, IL), unless otherwise indicated.


Double-Feature SPECTRA Reading Series Event Spotlights QC Native, Award-Winning Poet, Retreat Winner, and Young Emerging Writers

What: SPECTRA Reading Series, featuring Ben Miller, Anne Pierson Wiese, Dee Rob, and Young Emerging Writers

When: Thursday, July 27

Time: Social at 6:00 p.m., Feature Readers at 7:00 p.m., YEW Showcase at 8:00 p.m.

Where: Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave. Rock Island, IL)

Cost:  Free & Open / $5 suggested donation to support youth writing programs at MWC

The Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship Program, the SPECTRA Reading Series, and the Great River Writers retreat are proud to present a special collaboration on Thursday, July 27 at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave. Rock Island, IL).

The event will start at 6pm with a social hour, followed by a feature reading from memoirist and Davenport native Ben Miller, award-winning poet Ann Pierson Wiese, and Dee Robb, winner of the Great River Writer’s Retreat (see bios below). Following the feature reading will be a special Young Emerging Writers showcase, featuring poetry and prose readings from some of the 2023 YEW staff and interns, starting at 8pm.

Event will be livestreamed to Midwest Writing Center’s YouTube page:

Space is limited for this special event. Event is free and open to the public, with a $5 suggested donation to support youth writing programs at MWC.

For more information, or for media queries, please contact Sarah Elgatian,

The SPECTRA Reading Series manifests thanks to the generous support of the Illinois Arts Council Agency and Illinois Humanities. The Great River Writer’s Retreat is generously sponsored by Dr. Nicolas Shammas and the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Funding and material support for the 2023 Young Emerging Writers Summer Internship Program generously provided by the Illinois Arts Council Agency, the Scott County Regional Authority, Modern Woodmen of America, Illinois Humanities, the CD Wiman Memorial Trust, the Melvin McKay Charitable Trust, the Rock Island Public Library, and Rozz-Tox.

Bios for Feature Readers:

Ben Miller is the author of the forthcoming Pandemonium Logs: Sioux Falls, South Dakota 2020-2022 (Rutgers University Press) and River Bend Chronicle: The Junkification of a Boyhood Idyll Amid the Curious Glory of Urban Iowa (University of North Carolina Press). His awards include fellowships from the NEA and the Radcliffe Institute at Harvard University, as well as grants from the South Dakota Arts Council and the Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America.

Anne Pierson Wiese‘s first poetry collection, Floating City (Louisiana State University Press) received the Academy of American Poets Walt Whitman Award. Her second collection, Which Way Was North, is forthcoming in 2023 (Louisiana State University Press). She has received the Amy Lowell Travelling Scholarship, fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts and the South Dakota Arts Council, and a Discovery/The Nation Poetry Prize.

Dee Robb holds degrees in Communication, Education, and English as a Second Language, with a certificate in Creative Writing from UW-Madison. Her poetry can be found in the Highland Community College press, Oprelle’s Rise Up Anthology, Illinois Reading Today, and The Illinois Reading Council Journal. She was a short story first-place winner of Galesburg Public Library’s Big Write in 2022, and a second-place winner of poetry in 2023. She is a member of the American Academy of Poets, the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and the Midwest Writing Center. She currently teaches ESL in the Galesburg School District and serves on the Mercer County Family Crisis Center Board of Directors.


We’ll continue to update the 2023 SPECTRA schedule soon! Please check back and join the SPECTRA Facebook group for updates on our events and other readings, workshops, etc. from all over the country! 

SPECTRA manifests thanks to the generous support
of the Illinois Humanities and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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